Nexus Network Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 759–783

Architectural Doughnuts: Circular-Plan Buildings, with and without Courtyards

Research

Abstract

An ‘architectural doughnut’ is a building with a plan consisting of two concentric circles. Two types are distinguished: the ‘ring doughnut’ where the central circle is a courtyard, and the ‘jam doughnut’ where some important central space (the ‘jam’) is surrounded by a ring of smaller spaces (the ‘dough’). The main emphasis is on the second type. A series of historical examples is discussed including locomotive roundhouses, Panopticon prisons, hospital wards, parking garages and offices. The ratio of the diameters of the circles is shown to be important for the functioning and even the feasibility of ‘jam doughnut’ plans, depending on the activity housed. In several of the case studies the doughnut shape results in serious inefficiencies in the use of space. Such plan types were soon abandoned. Geometrical data on all the examples are presented in a ‘morphospace’ or world of possible doughnut plans.

Keywords

Circular-plan buildings Panopticon Prisons Parking garages Hospitals Offices Radial plans 

References

  1. Baker, G. and B. Funaro. 1958. Parking. New York: Reinhold.Google Scholar
  2. Baker, N., D. Hoch, and K. Steemers. n.d. The LT Method: Energy Design Tool for Non Domestic Buildings, Commission of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  3. Bentham, J. 1791. Panopticon: or, the Inspection-House. Dublin: Thomas Byrne.Google Scholar
  4. Bentham, J. 1796. Management of the Poor. Dublin: James Moore.Google Scholar
  5. Bentham, J. 1843. Panopticon: Postscript. London: T. Payne.Google Scholar
  6. Bevilacqua, M. G. 2015. The Helixes of Vittorio Bonadè Bottino: Symbolism, Geometry and Architectural Types. Nexus Network Journal 17(2): 487–506.CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  7. Comment, B. 2000. The Painted Panorama. New York: Harry N Abrams.Google Scholar
  8. Corbett, H. W. 1924. The planning of office buildings. Architectural Forum 41(September): 89–93.Google Scholar
  9. Foucault, M. 1977. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  10. Halberstadt, H. and A. Halberstadt. 1995. The American Train Depot and Roundhouse. Osceola WI: Motorbooks International.Google Scholar
  11. Hopkins, A. 1930. Prisons and Prison Building. New York: Architectural Book Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  12. Jebb, J. 1844. Report of the Surveyor-General of Prisons. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  13. Klose, D. 1965. Multi-Storey Car Parks and Garages. London: Architectural Press.Google Scholar
  14. Marshall, J. 1878. On a Circular System of Hospital Wards. London: Smith Elder.Google Scholar
  15. Martin, L. and L. March. Eds. 1972. Urban Space and Structures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  16. McGhee, G. R. 2007. The Geometry of Evolution: Adaptive Landscapes and Theoretical Morphospaces. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Müller, G. 1925. Grosstadt-Garagen. Berlin: Deutsche Bauzeitung.Google Scholar
  18. Raup, D. 1962. Computer as an aid in describing form in gastropod shells. Science 138: 150–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Semple, J. 1993. Bentham’s Prison: A Study of the Panopticon Penitentiary. Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Snell, H. S. 1881. Charitable and Parochial Establishments. London: Batsford.Google Scholar
  21. Snell, H. S. 1885. Circular hospital wards. The Builder, 26th September, 443–45.Google Scholar
  22. Steadman, P. 2006. Why are most buildings rectangular? Architectural Research Quarterly (arq) 6(3): 203–207.Google Scholar
  23. Steadman, P. 2007. The contradictions of Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon penitentiary. Journal of Bentham Studies 9: 1–31.Google Scholar
  24. Steadman, P. 2014. Building Types and Built Forms. Leicestershire: Troubador.Google Scholar
  25. Taylor, J. 1988. Circular hospital wards: Professor John Marshall’s concept and its exploration by the architectural profession in the 1880s. Medical History 32(4): 426–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Energy InstituteUniversity College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations